Homeless Teen Who Graduated at the Top of Her Class Offers Inspiring Words

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Jul 08, 2014

With all the stresses on teens today, achieving success in high school just seems that much harder. But for one Washington D.C student, the odds seemed stacked against her from the beginning. Rashema Melson lost her father when he was murdered before her first birthday and has spent most of her teen years living in a homeless shelter with her mom and three siblings.

Today reports about Melson’s success in the face of adversity as she readies herself to attend Georgetown University on a full scholarship. The D.C. student recently graduated her high school as Valedictorian at the top of her class. She somehow managed to maintain a 4.0 average throughout her high school career while returning to the homeless shelter each and every day with her mom and siblings.

Since the homeless shelter was loud and not very conducive to study, Melson spent about 13 hours each day at school, arriving early to complete homework. She describes life in the shelter saying, “There’s no furniture, no refrigerator. It’s just a place to be content with until you get to where you want to be.” And it truly sounds like Melson is well on her way to where she wants to be.

The Valedictorian had a lot of inspiring words for her fellow students during her commencement speech. She said, “Life is not fair, but despite that harsh reality, you must keep striving for success through the pain, tears and feeling of lost hope.” And later added, “Never be afraid to go after your dreams, and regardless of the negative forecast that has been predicted upon us, beat the odds and let the sun shine. Each step we take is paved with possibilities. Now go unlock the door to your future.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


What do you think of Rashema Melson’s inspiring story?

Do you think her story and commencement speech will help to inspire others?

Make a Comment